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UFC Champ Jose Aldo Takes Part in Haitian Peacekeeping Mission

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has left Brazil to take part in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, just days after the one-year anniversary of that nation's devastating earthquake.

Aldo was scheduled to land in Haiti's capital, Port au Prince, to take part in the country's National Day of Sports for Peace on Jan. 23.

The January 12, 2010 earthquake registered a magnitude 7.0, resulting in one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history, with 316,000 deaths and reportedly over 1 million people left homeless.

While the country continues the slow process of rebuilding, in October 2010, the UN passed a resolution that encouraged the use of sports to promote positive values and education as well as peace-building.

"It will be a unique experience," Aldo told Brazilian news site "After an amazing year in my career, nothing better than to start 2011 by helping others."

Ironically, Aldo leaves his home country just days after its largest-ever natural disaster. Flooding and landslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro have killed over 700 people and displaced thousands more.

Aldo was born in Manaus but has lived in Rio for several years. According to Brazilian news reports, his family was unscathed by the disaster.

Other Brazilian sports star on the peacekeeping mission include Olympic sprinter Sandro Viana, soccer star Luiz Lima, auto racer Antonio Pizzonia and volleyball player Nalbert Bitencourt.

On Thursday, the UFC confirmed that Aldo would defend his title at UFC 129 in Toronto, though his opponent is not yet known.

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